Talk is cheap when it comes to police accountability: Joe Gonzales, the DA in Bexar County, Texas, seems like a nice enough fellow. But it's time for more than promises that his office will scrutinize officer-involved shootings more closely in the future. That implicitly reminds the public your office wasn't doing so before, while failing to expressly acknowledge it or apologize for the failure. We're in a "show, don't tell" moment when it comes to law-enforcement officials reassuring the public they will punish police misconduct. People won't believe it until it actually happens.
Disrespectful: The level of armed surveillance at George Floyd's funeral was unnecessary:
Vice News reports police in Pearland, Texas, requested the presence of Border Patrol snipers at George Floyd’s burial on June 9 and gave them permission to use deadly force as members of the militarized tactical unit known as BORTAC surveilled funeral attendees. Records obtained by Vice also reveal an FBI surveillance aircraft was flown over the burial to monitor for so-called violent agitators. That day, at least six sniper teams were in place on rooftops and authorized to open fire.
SWAT-ing episode exposes police overreaction: Grits is late to discussing the SWAT-ing incident out of Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, but setting aside her classmates' culpability (and calling the cops on your friend is an asshole move) the idea that cops brought in the SWAT team to a dorm over a young woman with scissors speaks to a policy of needless escalation. Even if you accepted the false premise fed to police, their response wasn't warranted.
Hidden tragedy: Read the story of the first man to die of COVID in the Dallas County Jail.
Telling on themselves: An 18-year veteran Fort Worth Police Officer was fired after sharing on social media a meme of a black man in a coffin accompanied by the words, "Stop Resisting!"
Not a crime: Read the case against jaywalking being a crime: Grits agrees with roughly 95 percent of this analysis, though some of this history was new to me. But I've long opposed using criminal law to punish average people for the failures of traffic engineers.
People with criminal records need housing, too: After the public comment period was over, we finally got some MSM coverage of the new rules restricting access to supportive housing for people with criminal records. See prior Grits coverage.
I wonder why black folks don't want to join Waco PD? Read about Waco PD's difficulties recruiting black officers - or really, anybody - to join their ranks: "a police exam might draw close to 800 applicants 20 years ago, and 300 a decade ago, but that has dropped to about 100 in recent years." Readers may recall Waco PD topped the statewide list for agencies arresting the most people at traffic stops; in 2018, cops in Waco arrested about 4.5% of all drivers they pulled over.
Better late than never: Fact checkers at PolitiFact say Gov. Greg Abbott's assessment of crime in Austin was "mostly false." But it shouldn't have taken a separate "fact checking" team to report that. It was false when he first said it and should have been reported that way from the get go.
Varieties of Police Oversight Systems: For anyone interested in the pros and cons of various police oversight systems presently in use, check out this overview from the National Association of Civilian Oversight of Law Enforcement. Fascinating stuff: Every decision regarding how to set one up involves sometimes-unexpected tradeoffs. Related: A 2016 guidebook for implementing "new or revitalized police oversight."